Yesterday was one of those days that I really miss my Twitter account. My account has been locked down since February because I expressed that the boy from Covington High School deserved to be punched in the chest. I was on the Twitter account of my workplace today and I saw #3FaveBooksWhenIWasAKid. I wanted to add my favorites so bad but I couldn’t add that to my employer’s Twitter feed so I will write about mine on WordPress instead.
Three of my favorite books from my upper elementary and middle school days are The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Beat the Turtle Drum by Constance Green and Karen Kepplewhite is the World’s Greatest Kisser by Eve Bunting.
I remember ordering a copy of The Scarlet Letter from Scholastic book orders when I was in the fifth grade in 1985 or ’86. The book was published in 1850 and takes place in the 1600’s. It’s amazing how the world hasn’t changed in many ways since then. The book is a story of a 1600’s, colonial Massachusetts single mom who is ostracized by her ultra conservative Puritan community. Hester is sentenced to wearing the scarlet letter A for adultery on her chest for the rest of her life. Her baby daddy takes no responsibility for his participation in the conception of the Hester Prynne’s bastard child. Baby daddy is the town preacher by the way. I believe that was the big revelation at the end of the book.
I believe that I got a copy of Beat the Turtle Drum from my elementary school library. It was the first book to ever make my cry. The story centers around two sisters that are very different. One sister thinks of herself as homely while her sister is beautiful and favored by their parents. The beautiful sister dies in an accident. The sisters were in their backyard tree house. The beautiful sister leans forward out the doorway of the hous while on her knees in order to see her pet horse. She falls forward to the ground. The fall kills her. The rest of the story is about how the family copes with the loss of the little girl. This book set a precedent for me. As a person that isn’t super emotional anything that makes me cry gets a good recommendation from me.
Karen Kepplewhite Is The World’s Best Kisser is another book I ordered from Scholastic book orders when I was in middle school. I’m not sure that it was one of my favorites back then but I remember it fondly now. It was a very sweet coming of age tale of young girls. Today we would say they were exploring their sexuality but we didn’t think like that then. The girls were just looking forward to and preparing for their first kiss.
All I remember about the book is that the main character Karen and her friend practiced for their first kiss. They had plans to attend a boy girl party and wanted to be ready. At the party a bunch of kids played a variation of Spin the Bottle called Seven Minutes in Heaven. The young party goers sat on the floor in a circle and spun a pop bottle. The spinner had to go in the closet and kiss the person who the bottle pointed to once it stopped.
The couple went in the closet and they kissed. A lot of suspense built up to that moment. They kissed with their clothes on and no genitals were involved at all. In contrast to today’s YA literature which is very dark and sexualized, it is very sweet. It’s almost like I grew up in Puritan times myself. Ahh, the mid 1980s.
Those are #3FaveBooksWhenIWasAKid. The Sweet Valley Twins also deserve an honorable mention.